March 05, 2012

Everyone needs a Plan

I have a closet of clothes that are either showing their age or don't fit me well. It's already known that shopping and I are not friends. I thought I'd written up a more recent rant than this one or this one. The short version: I'm tall, I'm reasonably narrow, I tend toward classic/minimalist style with a touch of romantic/bohemian, I'm excessively practical. End result: very little ready-to-wear clothing actually fits me and I'm endlessly frustrated by poor quality and trends that assume I have nothing to do except look pretty.

My clothing should not require special handling (no regular trips to the dry cleaner), be flexible in function (dress up or down; be comfortable cooking in the kitchen and appropriate for errands and chauffeuring) and season; and be reasonably durable (while I don't expect a high ROI on my clothes, I do expect them to last).

My clothing should fit me as I am. I would like long sleeves to pass my wrists and long pants to touch the top of my shoes. My shirts should have some shaping to them, so that I'm not swimming in fabric boxes, without being constricting. I'm a mother of an almost-seven year old; I don't have the bust of an 18 year old nor that of a nursing mother, and my necklines should be flattering without being revealing. Tops should also be long enough to avoid the accidental exposure of my midriff. I have a waist and I don't mind highlighting it as long as it stays fully covered. The lower portion of my hips are no one's business, and pants or skirts should not hug my bum so closely that I have to worry about lines.

I could dedicate the next several years to a lot of shopping. I know what I want and I know what I like, but these things are hard to find (otherwise I'd have them and this would all be moot). I'm nine inches taller than the Average American Woman and although we're in the same general area when it comes to weight, I'll bet doughnuts that it's distributed differently on my frame than it is on hers. I'd need to find just the right collection of boutiques to have even a hope of meeting half of my ideal clothing criteria. Might as well order couture.

Or I could just make it all myself. I already make most of Caitlyn's clothes and Ian's shirts. I've not tackled anything like jeans or fitted styles, but if I can make this, surely I can figure out this.

So this is the plan: Make it the way I want it. I suppose I'm making my own version of the Seamless Pledge. I'm going to make a solid effort to make most new items entering my wardrobe, except things like socks, tights, underwear, shoes, things that require knitting, etc. I expect I'll need to learn some new skills, like more extensive pattern adjusting and how to recognize when a style just won't work for me. For sanity's sake, I'm not going to say "12 new items for my wardrobe in 12 months!" or set air-tight expectations that can't bend with life's unexpected curve balls. I'm not planning on taking up vintage fashion creation. Just basic, classic pieces that fit me and my life.

Welcome to my Wardrobe Improvement Project! I intend to chronicle my Misadventures in Fashion for my own education and the general amusement (and maybe inspiration?) of others. Stay tuned to see how it goes!

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